In a tense and often hostile meeting with the developer on Tuesday night, a standing room only crowd of residents heard details of an 87-microunit residential development planned for a site at 268 Varick Street, at the corner of Bright Street.
The small studio apartments planned by Michael Rushman and his business partner Don Dillon of the development company Rushman Dillon will be diminutive in size – 325 to 350 square feet – but will include a sleek, cutting edge architectural design that will appeal to young single professionals who are increasingly bypassing New York and moving to Jersey City instead.
The development will not include any parking since the city’s redevelopment plan for this site does not require parking, Rushman told residents Tuesday night in his presentation to the community.
The site is currently a blacktop lot used for classroom trailers for the Frank R. Conwell School (PS 3). As a result of the planned microunit development, Conwell students are already being bused to schools outside the neighborhood.
At a meeting held Tuesday night at the Brightside Tavern residents argued that the development, which Rushman said will be designed for the twentysomething generation, does not belong in the family-oriented historic Van Vorst neighborhood. In addition, residents also expressed concerns about the affect the development will have parking and quality of life issues during construction.
Condo owners who live in the building next to the Bright and Varick site also suspected that the building might be too close to their home to continue required maintenance to the façade of their building.
Several residents said that the downtown neighborhood associations are exploring the possibility of a lawsuit against the city for approving this development on Oct. 4 and for creating the redevelopment plan that covers the corner of Bright and Varick streets.
Should a lawsuit be filed it would filed it could prevent Rushman Dillon from its planned groundbreaking in the first quarter of 2014. The development company had planned to complete the rental residential development by the end of next year. – E. Assata Wright